THE Magpies are this week set to complete a double swoop by securing the signings of Charlie Clough and Elliot Ward.

Both men have been on trial at the Avenue Stadium throughout the summer and boss Phil Simkin has rewarded the pair with a permanent stay.

Clough is a former Bristol Rovers defender while midfielder Ward started his career at nearby AFC Bournemouth.

Simkin, whose side recorded a 2-0 win at Wimborne on Saturday in their final pre-season friendly, said: “Charlie played on Saturday, we have come to an agreement and he will be signing for us.

“With Kyle Critchell going to Weymouth I was concerned with the lack of height in the side, and that is the reason we are looking in Charlie’s direction.

“He has a good grounding from his time with Bristol Rovers and he played a lot of games for Bath in the Conference National last season.

“We have also agreed terms with Elliot and he will be signing this week.

“He is a gifted player but he needs to learn the non-League game and we are willing to give him the chance to do that.”

Saturday’s victory was Dorchester’s first of pre-season with Ben Watson and fellow forward Jamie Reid both finding the net.

The latter was making his first appearance since joining, along with full-back Jacob Wannell, on a month’s loan from Exeter City and Simkin was delighted with his new strike force.

He added: “They make a very good pair. Ben was exceptional for us. He led the line brilliantly, he held the ball up and worked extremely hard.

“It would have been difficult to put the Exeter boys straight into the first league game. It may cost us a bit more money bringing them in earlier but we couldn’t just chuck them in.

“We have got so many games coming up, it was important they settled in – and they both have.”

Commenting further on the weekend triumph, Simkin said: “It was a tough game for us, which is why I chose it. But we kept a clean sheet, the front two scored a goal apiece and we deserved the win.

“Wimborne are a good attacking side but they never really looked like scoring to be honest. They’ll do well in their league this season as Steve Cuss has got them very organised.”

The Magpies’ league campaign kicks off this Saturday at home to Eastbourne.

Magpies: Matthews, Jermyn (Nicholls), Wannell, Clough, Walker, Gleeson (Symes), Ward (Lanahan), Bell, Watson (Dovell), Reid (Malsom), Martin (Morgan).